Economists dissect Malawi’s economic data

Local economists on Tuesday took some time to dissect how Malawi is generating and processing economic data crucial in estimating key economic indicators for business decision-making. Jointly organised by Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama) and JTI Leaf Malawi, the meeting was attended by officials from Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI), banking…

Elections demand weaken Kwacha

The Malawi kwacha has continued to weaken against major trading currencies such as the dollar and pound sterling largely due to businesses’ scramble to honour their payments ahead of the May 21 Tripartite Elections, the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) ha said. The local unit, which has remained largely stable against the greenback has fallen…

Cut debt, budget deficit—Ecama

Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama) has asked Treasury to cut public debt and narrow the budget deficit if the country is to sustain economic gains. As part of its input to the 2019/20 National Budget, Ecama also wants Treasury to maintain the prevailing macroeconomic stability in the next fiscal plan. In an interview on Thursday,…

Govt says investor confidence still high

Government says potential investors across the globe still have confidence to invest in Malawi despite last week’s post-election stand-off and subsequent sporadic violent scenes in some parts of the country. Following the stand-off, the private sector led by the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) complained that it was difficult for businesses…

Aid has failed Malawi—experts

  Economic and governance commentators have backed a British legislator’s sentiments that Malawi is worse off than it was 50 years ago despite getting aid from cooperating partners, including Britain. The commentators were reacting to sentiments by Roy Stewart, a Conservative Party member of Parliament (MP) and Britain’s Secretary of State for International Development, as…

RBM tells banks to support MGDS III

Reserve Bank of Malawi Governor Dalitso Kabambe has challenged the banking sector to support four key sources of economic growth for the country as spelt out in the Malawi and Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS). The development blue print spells out agriculture, tourism, manufacturing and mining as the four key sources of economic growth. “As…

1 600 more police officers promoted

Fresh from criticism over the mass promotion of 7 000 police officers and 20 210 primary and secondary school teachers, government has promoted an additional 1 602 junior police officers, raising fears of a bloated wage bill. The latest promotions have raised the number of promoted police officers from 7 000 to about 8 602.…

Commission moves to align MGDS III sectoral plans

The National Planning Commission (NPC) has started a consultative exercise to align sectoral plans, policies and strategies to the country’s medium overarching strategy, the Malawi Development and Growth Strategy (MGDS III). The exercise, which started yesterday in Salima, will see NPC dating 17 government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to critically scrutinise their existing strategies…

UN Sacco surplus grows by K20m

United Nations (UN) Sacco grew its surplus to K77.2 million as at December 2018, a significant jump from K57.1 million surplus recorded in the preceding financial year, the Sacco reported on Friday. Addressing the members at the Sacco’s 17th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lilongwe, UN Sacco president Pamela Mkwamba said during the period under…

RBM takes a swipe at banks

Reserve Bank Governor Dalitso Kabambe on Tuesday charged at commercial banks, accusing them of denying the private sector the much-needed loans despite mobilising more deposits. Speaking at Standard Bank plc 50th Anniversary Customer Dinner in Lilongwe on Tuesday, the governor also asked banks to be customer-centric, reminding them that Malawians do not enjoy “lacklustre” banking…

Tobacco growers want tax removal gazetted

National Association of Smallholder Farmers in Malawi (Nasfam) has asked government to gazette the removal of three percent withholding tax on tobacco proceeds from less than 10 bales to avoid its reintroduction. This follows the announcement by President Peter Mutharika last Thursday at Lilongwe Floors during the opening of this year’s Tobacco Marketing Season that…

RBM hails Standard Bank investments

Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) Governor Dalitso Kabambe has commended Standard Bank Group for instilling trust in the Malawi economy, even in times when the economy is sailing in turbulence. Kabambe said this on Tuesday evening when he presided over the bank’s 50th anniversary in Lilongwe. Standard Bank has been operating in Malawi since April…

Mitc targets K222bn market at China Expo

Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (Mitc) has set an ambitious target of identifying market opportunities of close to $300 million (about K222 billion) at the 2019 International Horticultural Expo slated for Beijing, China. China’s Yanqing district of Beijing will host the six-month  event from April 29 to  October 7 2019, which is said to cover…

Tobacco farmers protest low prices

Tanzania’s President John Magufuli yesterday was the fresh face when he officially opened the 2019 Tobacco Marketing Season in Lilongwe, but for Malawian tobacco growers it was the same story of poor prices. Price tags seen on burley tobacco sold on the day at Lilongwe Floors under contract farming ranged from $0.90 (about K665) per…

Controversy over teacher-pupil ratio

Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) has sparked controversy that the teacher to pupil ratio in the country has reduced to 1: 65, with education rights activists questioning the authenticity of the figure. Two education rights activists, Benedicto Kondowe who is executive director of Civil Society Education Coalition (Csec) and educationist Steve Sharra, yesterday…

Loans Board recovers K562m

Some former students of the University of Malawi (Unima) and Mzuzu University (Mzuni) have paid back K562 million of the K1.2 billion they owed government in student loans. Higher Education Students’ Loans and Grants Board board executive director Chris Chisoni said in an interview yesterday that the money was recovered between April 2016 and January…

Tobacco firm plays down weather impact

JTI Leaf Malawi says it expects its contracted tobacco growers to deliver good quality crop during the 2019 Tobacco Marketing Season despite unfavourable weather conditions in some tobacco-growing districts due to the impact of Cyclone Idai. The company’s corporate affairs and communications director Limbani Kakhome said this yesterday in Lilongwe ahead of 2019 Tobacco Marketing…

Electricity tariffs exaggerated—MCCCI

The Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) has bemoaned that its members, mostly industrial companies, continue to be heavily penalised by government through ‘exaggerated’ electricity tariff rates. MCCCI has since warned that Malawi’s pursuit to industrialise her economy would remain a pipedream and a far-fetched dream unless electricity supply is seamless to…